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Sound Quality Guide for Live & Audigy 1














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Note:
***This guide will give Sounblaster Live! and Audigy 1 owners a chance to give their sound quality a boost without spending a dime for a soundcard upgrade.
**Results will vary depending on who's listening and the speakers they're using.
*Please read my instructions carefully as problems may occur and cause ur system probs if not installed properly.
*Reasons for following this guide: Bug fixes, improved sound quality, more feature-rich software, better headphone support, improved separation/positioning, support for 64 3D hardware voices (with SB Audigy 2 drivers)

 
 
 
=Using SB Audigy Drivers and Softwares for SB Live!=
Step 1: Remove ur current SB Live! drivers completely and reboot your system. Then download the SB Audigy 2 drivers on one of the following links below:
 
And also ... download the file named "ctcomp.exe" here:
 
 
Step 2: Extract ALL the contents of "sb_install_multilang.rar" file on a temporary folder/directory of ur choice (ur goin to need WinRAR for this).
 
 
Step 3: Open the file named "ctcomp.exe" and when asked for the directory of the files to be patched, browse to the directory where u extracted the contents of the "sb_install_multilang" file up to its \Audio\Setup folder. Then apply the patch.
 
 
Step 4: Go to the installation folder's \Audio\Setup directory and run "setup.exe". When prompted for the installation type, select "custom". Remove the tick mark for both "EAX Console" and "Creative Speaker Calibration". SB Live! cards do not have support for those said features and installing them will only give you headaches.
 
 
Step 4: After the installation, select "yes" when prompted to reboot.
 
 
 
=Using Creative's Latest BETA Performance Driver and Audigy 2 Softwares on Audigy 1=
 
Simply follow the steps I listed above. Install the softwares/programs that you wish to use but do not install the drivers that came with the (sb_install_multilang) installation file. Install the latest BETA driver instead:
 
... and reboot when prompted.
 
 
=EAX 4 Driver Update=
Its been out for quite a while already. Ctcomp still works with this, all u have to do is extract all the files that is inside the installer, and run the ctcomp file and voila! U can download the drivers inside creative's website.
 
 
 
=Updating of Audigy 2 Softwares=
 
This part is pretty easy. Just visit creative's website and head on to their driver updates section and select the appropriate OS and download and install the softwares that you want. No software hacking necessary for this one.  Remember to select "SB Audigy 2" when prompted and not ur current soundcard SB Live or Audigy 1.
 
 
 
=Updating of Audigy 2 Drivers=
 
Newly released Audigy 2 drivers can also be used for both SB Live and Audigy 1 cards. But problems occur during the start of installation because the installer will fail to load when an Audigy 2 card is not detected. SB Audigy 1 owners like me need not to worry about this problem because the latest drivers (the BETA driver mentioned above) works for both Audigy 1 and 2 cards. SB Live owners who want to update their driver will definitely have probs though. There is a "manual" procedure for doing this, I found a website that explains how to do this. Although I haven't tried it myself, IMO, it's worth a shot:
 

"Manual Method

The file you need to modify is buried inside the data1.cab file, located in the \Audio\Setup directory of the software suite, and also in the main folder of the driver update, if you downloaded and extracted that. To extract files from these .cab files, you'll need a program called i6comp.

Specifically, you'll need to download this version: http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/cgi-bin/h-viewer?sh=1&fname=/pub/os2/win32os2/i6comp020.zip , extract it, and put just the i6comp.exe file (located in the Release folder) in the appropriate directory with the data1.cab file. Then download this version: http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/cgi-bin/h-viewer?sh=1&fname=/pub/os2/win32os2/i6comp103b.zip , extract it, and put only the ZD51145.DLL file in the same directory. The rest of the files are not important.

Youll need to extract the file CTComp.dat from the data1.cab file using the tool you just downloaded. Using Command Prompt (Go to Run and type cmd), navigate to the directory where the data1.cab file is located. Once you're in that directory from the Command Prompt, type i6comp e data1.cab ctcomp.dat to extract the file.

Now, you can either edit the CTComp.dat file yourself in Notepad to get your card recognized, or you can download an already modified version here (thanks to kode54) to replace the one you just extracted. If you opted to edit the file yourself, see below. If not, just skip to the next step.

Open CTComp.dat using Notepad, and scroll down until you see the only line that starts with the letters ID. This line shows the IDs of the cards that the driver will recognize. Right now the IDs are set for the Audigy 2 cards, so you'll want to replace the entire line with the IDs of your specific card. These IDs are:

Audigy: ID = 02000051, 02000052, 02000053, 02000054, 02000055, 02000056, 02000057, 02000058

SBLive! 5.1: ID = 00801061, 00801062, 00801064, 00801069, 0080106A, 0080106B

SBLive!: ID = 00000020, 00000021, 0000002F, 00801022, 00801025, 00801026, 00801027, 00801028, 00801029, 00801031, 00801032, 00801040, 00801050

Replace the ID line with the line of your card, and save the file.

To put the modified CTComp.dat file back into data1.cab, go back into Command Prompt again and type i6comp r data1.cab ctcomp.dat to replace the original. The file was just copied in there, so CTComp.dat will still be showing in the directory. When you are done, delete the leftover CTComp.dat, i6comp.exe, and ZD51145.DLL files. Everything should now be ready to install." - Tech-PC

 

=KX Drivers=

This driver is also another one of those drivers that claim to have better quality than the one's that Creative is offering. Softwares that measures sound quality/response proved that KX drivers are indeed slightly better when compared to Creative drivers.

Installation of the said driver is much easier because it directly supports the following soundcards: SB 512, SBLive, EMU APS, Audigy, and Audigy2. There is a downside though, it doesn't support EAX. So gamers ... beware.

You can download KX drivers here: http://kxproject.spb.ru/down.php?language=en . I recommend that you uninstall your current drivers before installing this one to avoid conflicts.

 

 

=FAQ's=

Q: Is this driver going to turn my soundcard (Live or Audigy) into an Audigy 2 card?

A: No. Some of Audigy 2's features/capabilities are hardware dependent. The only thing/s ur goin to gain are the features/things I listed above (see notes).

Q: A friend of mine told me that this driver hack is a waste of time because he tried it him/herself but he/she wasn't able to notice any diff in sound quality (etc.)

A: Sound quality is subjective. The only way for u to find out if there really is an increase in sound quality is to try the tweak/hack urself.

Q: I've seen folks telling me that KX (or Audigy 2) drivers sound better b'coz they have this software that measures the noise and stuff. Is it true? Where can I get them?

A: I don't have a clue where to find 'em since I'm really not interested in using those kind of softwares. I don't need a software telling me to stick with a certain driver b'coz it was able to detect that the noise ratio is much lower etc. I use my own judgement (or ears to be exact) when picking up the sound driver that "I think" is better in terms of sound quality.

Q: Is there a performance hit when using Audigy 2 drivers for my Live/Audigy card?

A: I can't answer that since I only use Audigy 2 drivers under WinXP, and I don't have any games installed under this OS so the diff in performance is very hard to notice with everyday apps like MS office and or Net Browsing.

Q: Where can I get an updated driver (besides Creative's website)?

A: Hacked or unofficial drivers pop up the net on different websites. IBM for example release newer Audigy 2 drivers for their package systems. And so does other companies like Compaq. A simple "google" search plus some patience should do the trick.

Q: Everytime I turn on my speaker's surround setting, no sound comes out my rear speakers. Why is that?

A: Enabling CMSS 3D inside EAX Console should fix that prob.

Q: Audigy 2's sound seems to lack the punch compared to my usual mixer volume setting with my older Live/Audigy driver. Is that normal?

A: Yes, increasing the mixer volume should fix the prob.

Q: I'm only on a dial-up connection. And a 100+mb dl is too big for me. Is it really worth the download?

A: Well so am I. But if u have at least a respectable/solid sounding $100 speakers, then IMO it is worth the try. Just remember that sometimes having a good set of speakers is not enough reason for a person to notice the diff in sound quality. It's ur ears that's goin to do the scaling here.

Q: I've seen updated drivers on some website, but they are not available on Creative's website. Are they safe to install?

A: If they are designed specifically for ur soundcard, then yes. But to tell u guys the truth, I am also clueless as to what my Audigy model number is. So everytime I see an updated Audigy driver, I just donwnload the file and see if it works or not. Just remember that besides looking at the driver version number, u should also take note on the driver's release date. Newer date will guarantee that u r indeed using a newer driver. 'Coz I've already seen hacked drivers containing a sky rocketing driver version but the driver is dated way back in 2002.

Q: Is there a reported problem when this hack is used on a SB Live! card?

A: I have received an email that his system no longer shut itself off automatically when this hack was used on his SB Live! model sb0100, VIA 684, celeron equipped machine.

 

Last Updated: 020304
















 
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